Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Planiton y Chocolate Caliente‏

Cara sent this on Monday. Merry Christmas Everyone!
Navidad is in 2 days! J I bet there is a ton of snow and is freezing there. I’m sure all the missionaries here would kill for that kind of weather right now. It is the rainy season but it hasn’t rained here in about 5 days. It’s extremely hot.
This week has been good, we had a baptism, a boy that is 14 years old, he is the brother of the woman that got baptized my first week here. When we first started teaching him he always looked so sad, he cried like our first lesson because he was having problems with him mom. (don’t we all have problems with our mom at that age?) haha  I love you mom. But he got baptized this last Saturday and has made a ton of new friends in the ward, now when I see him he looks a ton happier.
We also have been working on getting this couple married and baptized. Remember that chirapa guy I talked about. Yeah, him and his wife are getting married and baptized this week! J We were able to work with their papers and get it approved. So, they are getting married on Friday and baptized Saturday. Here it’s really hard for North Americans or gringos as everyone likes to call us. Because we always want to teach in great detail and be really direct because we have grown up with the gospel our whole life. But these people here don’t get that, so we have to be really simple with the way we teach and teach a lot from the bible the first few lessons. It’s actually kind of nice but kind of a hard concept to grasp. Haha J
It’s been kind of stressful this week because I get to learn a lot of stuff before cambios in a week just in case I have to train or get sent to a different place, but my companion is assisting me and I can feel myself learning faster and faster.
I'm starting to already miss Christmas in Utah. It's weird to think it is Christmas time because it is so hot and humid here, no snow? What is this?
Esepcially when I hear that is negative 14 there! Wow! People here like to have fruit cake and hot chocolate on christmas like normal, but hot chocolate in this heat? No thank you. Although, it's really good, they make it from the coco plant, it's delicous.
Anyway, not much else to tell! I love you all and hope you have a Merry Christmas! :)

Hermana Larsen

Monday, December 16, 2013

Feliz Navidad!

Later in the day after getting this letter Cara called to let us know she will be able to Skype us on Christmas. Yipee!

Oh my, what a week. It started with me being sick with an enormous fever at the end of p day last week, went to the doctor, and it was from the water...dumb bugs. I'm a lot better, the mission is just cracking down on what water we get and drink. Hermana Gòmez is making sure we use our filter water bottles and everything, so no worries :) But basically we didn't work at all Tuesday, Wednesday we did and then my companion got sick with the same thing that night, so no work Thursday, and she still is not feeling that great.
So, Sunday, I had to speak in sacrament meeting, I was freaking out to say the least, but I did it :) It was really short, but I think it made the ward warm up to me a little bit more, so that they know that I know a little bit of Spanish :) During the meeting we had a recent convert come to church and her dog followed her to church, now in Iquitos it is normal for dogs to just walk in the chapel, because dogs are everywhere in Pèru just scrounging for food and everything, but this one would not get out of the chapel, she kept leading it out and then she shut the doors so that he wouldn't come back in but he found a way and suddenly you saw him come in the chapel again, all of the missionaries could not stop laughing. :)
I've realized it's been a real blessing sometimes to not know the language, it has made me really pay attention to body language and peoples eyes. You can tell a lot when words don't get in the way, you can tell how a person is feeling and what they need. It's pretty cool :)
So Christmas is coming! Jingle Bells! Feliz Navidad!
I think we have three things that we are singing in for Christmas, one is with our stake where we are singing in this choir, another is with our ward where we get fruitcake and hot chocolate! :) and the other is with all the missionaries in Iquitos area on Christmas. Practicing for these takes up pretty much all of our time.
Cambios is coming up on the 30th and my companion and I might be split, but we don't know what exactly is going to happen. Crazy how fast time is flying! :)
Merry Christmas! :)

ALSO!! I ate suri!, I ate a worm. It was disgusting, but it apparently is tradition that when you get to the mission in iquitos you eat suri, well, I did it. I don't think I'll do it again. I have a video but it won't let me send it over email. :)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Juvia, juvia, juvia‏

Hola J
This week has been crazy busy, I’m learning spanish a Little more each day, it’s quite slow though, poco el poco.
This week Hermana Salinas had a meeting with the leaders in the mission all day, so I got to go to another area with a different companion for the day. And we got stuck in the huge rain storm, like huge, we were soaked, and had to go to higher ground because the streets were flooding. It was a joyful experience. I also got to hold a monkey! After we taught this couple they let me hold their monkey, oh my goodness. So cute J That’s getting to be pretty normal now. Last night, we had another huge rainstorm and it went into the morning, it’s so strong that it wakes you up during the night.
My companion has been super stressed because we don’t have very many new investigators and not very many dates for baptisms. Pero, yo tengo fe. J
Lessons have been going good, I’m starting to understand people better and better each day.
Last night we went to the stake center and watched the Christmas devotional live from the conference center, the North Americans got to watch it in ENGLISH! It was another joyful experience. J
Iquitos is good, the food is good, lots of rice, lots of beans, the normal. J
Haha, the elders had a baptism Saturday and we went and the 13 year old boy that was getting baptized got a haircut that day, he walked into the church and bam! Mohawk J it was awesome.
Today we are going to Quista Cocha to eat suri….grubs….buena suerte Hermana Larsen
I don’t have much else to tell you guys. J
Love you all
Hermana Larsen


Monday, December 2, 2013


Great news! Cara received the postcards we made her on Halloween and the package I sent for her birthday. For now she lives about 15 minutes from the mission home and getting mail through the pouch is easy for her get. I also have her address. I can send it to you if you message me. If you send her a package let me know and I will share what I have learned so far:)
Happy late Thanksgiving!!!! Here, they don't celebrate Thanksgiving, but they go all out for Christmas. But, I have the best pensionnista ever and she made us and the elders the all decked out thanksgiving dinner the other night, turkey, pie, all the works. It was the best :) Peru is hot! Everyday you just get used to being sticky and sweaty. Right now, it is the coolest time of the year because it is rainy season. Good for now, but I'm kind of dreading the dry season. At least I get to wear skirts :) The families we are teaching are so great, we are teaching a family who is so cute, they always want to ask me questions about the United States. Everyone thinks its so odd that Utah has so many Mormons because here there are people who don't even know who Mormons are. We are trying to find a way for the husband to get baptized but in order to do that we nee! to find a way for them to get married. They are named Israel and Candy, Candy's dad can speak English, he always comes out in lessons and we speak English for like ten minutes, it's awesome, mi Gusta :) In Iquitos it is super difficult for people to get married. Like, extremely difficult. So it is normal here that when we are baptizing a family, we are having a wedding beforehand. Well, this family has two sweet kids, Rodrigo and Carlita, Rodrigo literally looks like a Latino Harry Potter :) Carlita is just plain sweet. The only problem is they aren't really doing their part in the lessons....so.... yeah.
People here have this odd accent, it's called chirapa, which translates to jungle people. They talk really fast and kind of sing with it. It's pretty cool, my companion has that accent all the time, she's developed it over the year that she has been here. We are teaching a family who has that accent. Ladislao and Silvia. We are trying to get them married and baptized as well.
I've started to teach a little bit. I think the most frustrating part is when they see that I'm a gringa and when I start to talk they just look at me like I'm dumb and look at my companion to translate, and then she says the same thing. Ha, I guess I get to practice :)
The members in our ward get super offended that I don't know fluent Spanish and can't understand everything they are saying. There has been some experiences that haven't been the best. They just expect the gift of tongues to be over night and I can speak fluent and understand everything. They just don't know how it is to learn a language. Oh well :)
There's lots to do everyday and it is always really hot in our area, a lot of walking. I think what always makes my day though is when we go past little kids and they look at me and get really excited and whisper then I hear them say 'hello' 'how are you' ha ha they think it is so funny that they can speak a little bit of English, people do it all the time here when they see me. :)
Funny story, during a lesson the other day, the house was a little deeper in the jungle so there were a lot more bugs, entonces...during the lesson I feel something in my hair, yeah it was a huge beetle...luckily we were watching a movie, I looked at my companion and she started laughing at my face, I peeled it out of my hair and threw it on the ground, then another one flew on my shirt and another on my skirt. Geez! :) Experiences, experiences. :)
Well, I sure hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I miss American food but the rice is good :)
Hermana Larsen

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Mucho Mucho‏

We got a surprise call from Cara as she waited at the airport in Lima the day she flew out. Her flight had returned because of fog and she was expecting to wait four plus hours. It was really good to talk to her. The next time we heard from her was this past Monday when she wrote the following:

Mi familia!
So much has happened since the last time we talked! I’m in Iquitos! I mean like I’m actually here. We finally got here after the hectic airport trauma, we arrived around 8 at night. We got to the mission home and ate, got our new companions, got assigned to our areas and then were off. My new companion is Hermana Salinas, she is from Paraguay and is very…strict? But I love her, she is cute and is very sweet, she is learning English. Hermana Ruesch was off to Tarapoto the next day, I was sad to see her go. We drove in motokars the first night we were there to our apartment, they are so much fun, it basically is just a guy drivng a motorcycle and there is this little carriage thing in the back for people to ride, we ride in those a ton! You haven’t lived until you have rode in one of those in the pooring Amazonian rain. J The first couple of days have been full of me being overwhelmed with the language and many busy things to do. My companion is the sister leader of the hermanas and so she has a ton of stuff to do all the time, this last week though we had a wedding and three baptisms. So we were running all over the place.
Everything I learned in CCM, language wise, I feel has went out the door and I’m starting from scratch. But I’m understanding more and more each day. My companion is extremely patient with me. Iquitos is gorgeous, our area is huge and basically is just dirt roads with a ton of shacks squished together with jungle mixed in there. If you have seen the Other Side of Heaven, Imagine that, It’s pretty close to the way it is in my area.
There is a couple areas in our mission, three you have to fly to in order to get there. Tarapoto, Maybamba, Pacalpa and Iquitos. Yesterday we had a reunion with everyone in our mission at least in the Iquitos area. It was great, all the latinos get together and speak Spanish while the gringos get together and speak English, It kind of has gotten to me, the no speaking English thing. So everyday at lunch we have lunch with the zone leaders and one of them is from Utah so I just talk English to him the whole time while my companion speaks Spanish to the other the whole time.
It was my birthday, and lets just say I have the best pensionista ever. She got me American food and baked me a cake, they sang happy birthday to me, it made me happy. J She is the sweetest thing, and the best cook, all of them are so patient with me not knowing the language. I’m just really quiet and they just smile, I can understand a lot of what they are saying it’s just the responding part that is the problem J
Also the internet is horrible here, you have to pay for the time and the internet is tortoise slow.
Hermana Larsen

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Buena Suerte Hermana Larsen‏

Five days and counting...I will be in Iquitos in FIVE days! :) We are all freaking out, time is moving so much faster...rapido rapido!
We have this amazing teacher at night who is just hilarious, he can speak pretty good English but he speaks as little English as possible so that we get the hang of ONLY Spanish. Every night we go and practice teaching on other districts that pretend to be investigators and the other night, it was so cool, we came in and were sitting in our classroom and he looked and us and in perfect English he said.'you are angels' 'you can create miracles' He is seriously the best teacher I could ask for. He is so powerful in everything he does.
Our other teacher in the morning told us a story the other day and I get to share it with you guys. A missionary at the CCM many years ago came on the first day and was loving every minute, he was excited ready to learn Spanish, then the next week he went to the president and said 'I can't do it, Spanish is too difficult and I want to go home.' the president tried to convince him to stay but he refused. So the president said His flight was Monday and that he still had to go proselyting Saturday. The missionary was so excited that he got to go home. When he went proselyting he didn't get into it at all. He was silent and just went through the motions. Then they came to one house and they came in and the missionary suddenly had a feeling to talk. He opened his mouth and spoke fluent Spanish, right then and there. The old man that he was teaching had a third chair sat out when there were only two elders. The elders said that is was just them two and the old man said no. He said 'when I opened the door I saw a man in a white robe in the middle of you' Now when my teacher was telling us this story he told all of it in Spanish until he got to the last line...it was probably one of the coolest moments ever. :)
We had a 'real' investigator come to the CCM the other day. Our teacher ran in and said we had a person who was interested in the church that were friends of the maestros and we were so excited! 'we're gonna teach a real investigator' well the guy came in and he was from LasVegas, spoke fluent English and Spanish. So we were pretty suspicious. We taught him as a class, that was pretty cool. Then after he left we asked our teacher where he served his mission. And he was like 'I promise I didn't know, I really thought he was a real investigator.' PFT! Ha ha it was pretty funny, I guess he served his mission in Lima Central :) And was visiting with his girlfriend.
We are going proselyting again this Saturday, our last time before going out in the field, CRAZY!
Guess who is coming tomorrow to the CCM? Elder Nielson...The apostle. We are all really excited, my next letter, I'm gonna have a lot to tell you!
Sister leader is good, mostly just making sure that not all the sisters get extremely overwhelmed and go home. Haha :)
Spanish is picking up, I'll get there someday, maybe sooner than I think :)
I love you all so much.
Hermana Larsen

    Thursday, November 7, 2013

    Eat, study, sleep, repeat‏

    Hola! I feel like there isn't much to tell this week, it's been kind of boring, we basically eat, sleep, study and repeat! :) We went prosylyting on Saturday and that was way different than the last time, we went to a different part of Lima North. We got a lot of doors that didn't answer and a lot that we taught just on the street, we got one contact and a lot more of me bearing my testimony and saying 'leer el escritura?' which is completely grammatically incorrect. Haha, spanish is stressful, I have two weeks left and I feel like I know nothing, which isn't true, but it feels that way. And all of our district just keeps hearing that the people in Iquitos talk so fast! Ah! This is going to be interesting. Go gift of tongues!
    So Hermana Ruesch and I are the sister leaders but we have no idea what we have to do! We haven't gotten the binders or anything because the CCM presidente is out of town for the week at the mission president conference. So we are just flying blind. We got more hermanas today so we will see how it goes :)
    I am completely surrounded by latinos at the CCM we just got 70 new ones today! When the last three days we only had americans...
    Three of the people from our district are switching over to the latino district today because they are great at spanish, it's dumb. So our district is basically spliting up. Today was the last day we all got to go to the temple and spend p day together...triste.
    Está bien.
    Well...That is literally all I have to tell you guys, just know that I'm studying a lot and eating and sleeping and repeating it everyday. :)
    Hermana Larsen


    Sunday, November 3, 2013

    Qué no mundo!

    Long time, no talk. It feels like years since I've talked to you guys. Let´s just start, so my district is finally getting down my sarcasm...kind of.:) My sweet roommate Hermana Monchego has this constant quote she said, you might have heard of it...'asta lavista baby!' everytime we went to bed, everytime we did anything. She is adorable. She was slowly learning english, she learned how to say 'you are crazy' she would say it to me constantly. She left to her mission along with all our other latina roommates tuesday. Now we have three american roommates...pft! Haha, they're nice :)
    It's earthquake season here...we have felt two during the night. it's pretty fun. :) the elders completely sleep through all of them and the hermanas are always talking about them the next day.
    It's interesting here at the CCM, and being on a mission, you can go from being extremely happy and excited to completely frustrated with yourself and others in a blink of an eye. Hormones. No, everyone feels that way, but we all kind of lean on each other.
    The showers here are the best though. They are seriously so bipolar. It will start out wonderful, nice and warm, then suddenly start scalding your skin, then goes freezing cold. The best part is that those will probably be the best showers I will have on my mission, so awesome! :)
    The Peruvian sun is extremely strong. Hermana Ruesch and I do our personal study outside and we will sit on the step things and we sat there for ten minutes and I was burnt...I don't mean like tan, I mean burnt. I've already gotten pretty tan just from being out in personal study.
    The big story is though that we went out proselyting for the first time in the real Peruvian world! We went to the ghetto. I was with an american companion, a teacher who knew a farely good amount of english and was fluent in spanish and also a member who did not know any english. It was amazing, so we were pushed to speak a lot of spanish, I bore my testimony like 5 times and prayed twice. It was amazing. We read a scripture to a lady and we asked her how she felt afterwards and she started to cry! She started to spout off something really fast in spanish and I just kept asking our teacher what she was saying.. he translated the whole time, basically she had a sick aunt that was dying and how she needed to be strong for her and how that scripture really helped. It was pretty much awesome. :) Every woman in Peru greets women with a kiss on the cheek, gladly! They go out of their way to greet you that way and say goodbye that way. Going into people´s houses was insane though. They were terrible, so small, so dirty, America is spoiled.
    Oh! And before we went out prosylyting the teachers were trying to get us all pumped and make sure that we knew that we could do this, I think they could see in our faces that we were freaking out. So we were in our spanish class and suddenly these adorable kids probably 1st or 2nd grade come in and the boys shook the hermanas hands and the girls came and greeted us with a kiss. They were a primary class that wanted to come visit the missionaries. The girls told us that they wanted to be hermanas just like us. It made me cry. They were so sweet. It definitely did some inspiration for our district.
    It's crazy the differences here, there are bars on the churches and bars on the temple. We are so blessed.
    Today we went to the temple again. We went with just our district this time. It was so much fun.
    I love you all so much. I can feel all your prayers.
    Buenas Tardes!
    Hermana Larsen

    Toda Dia Cada Dia‏

    HAPPY HALLOWEEN! So...I got the whole first vision memorized... in SPANISH!! Go me! :) I can successfully recite it in lessons now. :) I wanna say this week has been boring but it really hasn't something funny has happened everyday but I just have to remember to write it down so I can remember to write it in the email.
    So our district is singing in sacrament meeting on Sunday and it is very exciting when we practice, we are the most impatient, funny, ADD group of people. It's ridiculous. Haha :) We are probably singing Abide With Me Tis Even Tide in spanish and english. We really need some more practice first though. All the people that came the two weeks before us are leaving tomorrow morning, so that means guess who is the oldies in the CCM tomorrow?! US!
    Oh... and guess who became a sister leader today? Me :) Hermana Ruesch and I are now the sister leaders of the hermanas in the CCM. :)
    Hermana Ruesch and I taught a lesson to our district Sunday about Christlike attributes, it was actually really cool to see our district get all spriritual and everything...it was different, that's for sure. But very good, who would have known we have such big testimonies.
    Hermana Ruesch and I have this little problem during personal study, we sit out in the sun and study then we go lay on the grass and suddenly, I don't know how it happens...but we fall asleep! I fell asleep for a good hour yesterday. It was amazing. Best. Nap. Ever. I am an awesome missionary.
    Oh, funny story. Last week when the newbies came, that night we were going to take showers and suddenly people were screaming, and it was loud! They ran out of the bathroom and were yelling that the water was scalding hot! And then it just stopped. I mean the water was completely gone. No water was working, we couldn't use the bathroom, we couldn't get water, nothing. So we had to walk downstairs in our pjs to find a toilet that wasn't already used...nasty, I know. It was an interesting night. Luckily, it is fixed now. Good news :)
    Yesterday we went to immigration so that I could really go to Iquitos. So we all fit into this mini van and the driver turned on music! Maroon 5 came on and if you know me, I was stoked, totally jammed to Sunday Morning, with my sister missionary plaque and all :) Yes, MUSIC!!! We were so excited! We all jammed out..and most of it wasn't even music that we really liked but we all hadn't heard music in so long that we were loving it. We are not allowed to listen to any music in the CCM while we are here so all of us are randomly singing songs that just ´pop into our head! Yesterday I was singing the grinch. It was Halloween! :) Also, yesterday at immigration a man came up to us and was sincerely interested in how to become a member of the church, he asked how he could get baptized! What?! Crazy! So we gave him pamphets and I taught in spanish, no big deal :) Oh...And the gift of tongues is very real. I've experienced it.
    The mail here is very delayed just so everyone knows. It varies. Some people have gotten it fast and others just got mail yesterday that was sent on the 10th so...yeah.
    Oh my, I miss Cache Valley and I miss everyone, but I love it here so much. It has defitnitely hit me this week that I will be in Iquitos in 2 and a half weeks and I feel like I know NOTHING. And I just keep thinking...BRING IT ON! I got this. Whenever I mention that I am going to Iquitos to any of the Latinos this is their reaction..'mucho calor!' Very hot and you eat weird things. :) Yeah!
    I love you all so much!
    Hermana Larsen

    Thursday, October 17, 2013

    Poco el Poco

    Buenos Tardes!! Wow, so much to tell. Where do I start? First time on a plane was great, window seat, yes! :) Long though, very long. And we couldn't watch movies which kind of made it a bummer. The airport was packed when we got there, all Latinos picking up businessmen. We got to the CCM at one in the morning and just crashed. My companera is Hermana Ruesch. She is absolutely amazing and teaches me something everyday. A lot of lessons :) We started the next day with orientation and a lot of study, right into Spanish!! It's a little overwhelming and I was having a hard time at first, but they just keep telling us, poco el poco (little by little). We ONLY have Spanish teachers, I repeat, only Spanish teachers. Who speak ONLY Spanish. AH! It is crazy, our whole district is just looks at each other the first day with ghost like faces. It's awesome now because I can make out a good majority of what they're saying, definitely more than I can speak :) They refer to our Spanish books as Pokémon characters....... they are that important :) Hermana Ruesch and I are the only two girls in our district we have ten other elders, and it is so much fun. I love it, we are all going to Iquitos which makes it even better. We are all tons alike too. :)
    In our room, it's Hermana Ruesch and I and then two other Latina companionships. They are so so sweet. I had a meltdown last night because I couldn't get the language. And the Latinas came over and just coddled me and took the Spanish dictionary so they could translate what I was saying. It was adorable. It is probably the most loving culture over here. They just want to take care of you and love you all the time.
    The CCM is gorgeous. The grounds are so well kept and amazing compared to the city. We went out on the city today because it was P day and, you know those buses I was telling you about? Yeah, rode two of those. They are small and cramped to say the least. And the drivers there are nothing compared to dad's driving ;) The temple was gorgeous but kind of frustrating wearing the translator around my neck. We went to the stores and everything is just so weird here. You go outside and you feel like you are going to get lung cancer just from the air because it is so bad here. Just be so so grateful for all the blessings we have in America. We are very blessed.
    So much to tell....FOOD! You guys have not tasted a churro, the churros here are amazing!! Oh my and the Chocolate is even better! Oh, and the ice cream is heaven! Let's just say sweet wise, I'm getting pretty spoiled. We have rice with every meal and some sort of meat, we all just ask each other what it is, because we never know. :) But we are so busy during the day that when we get to meals we are starving and anything will do.
    I've been so sleep deprived, I'm not used to this whole getting up at 6:30 thing, and neither are my Latina roommates, they like to stay up, that's the culture, so our rule is, lights out at 10.30 but they never are. So, it is interesting.... :)
    If I forget anything I am so sorry, we only have an hour and it seems so short. I will try to send some pictures of everything.
    We taught our first investigator and it was our teacher. But he is an amazing actor, it was playing it up, he was crying and everything about the problems he supposedly had. It was pretty dramatic. It assisted a ton though so that we could know what we were going to be doing. This really is the way to learn Spanish though, it's perfect because you have to learn Spanish in order to survive here.
    I love you all so much, and think about you everyday. Thank you for all your prayers! Poco el Poco
    Hermana Larsen
     So much love and support to learn the language!
     The Peru MTC is amazing!
     Wonderful roomies!       
    Hermana Larsen and her companera Hermana Ruesch hiding in the bushes trying to make it look like they are already in the Amazon Rain Forest!

    Friday, October 11, 2013

    Hermana Larsen made it to the MTC in Peru!

    I've made it! Got my name tag and everything and yes, the keyboards are really really weird. Go spanish! I love you guys and the flight went great, had kind of a rough time when I read mom´s letter, but I completely crashed when I got to my top bunk. :) and now just getting lost in the language and work. Peru is amazing and the MTC is amazing and I cannot wait to write you again and send you guys pics! Lima reminds me a lot of vegas. Tell dad on the bus ride here I saw 4 KFCs, no big deal. :) sending my love and light to you.
    Hermana Larsen

    Tuesday, October 1, 2013

    My Farewell

    Five months ago... I received a white envelope addressed to Sister Cara Nicole Larsen. I got to open it at 9:00 sharp ish that night. I got to sit through a class that night, that's why I was opening it later. Torture. FINALLY, I got to go home to that white envelope. My whole family was there waiting anxiously, along with my very best friends on face time and there in person.
    I was shaking, I was so nervous and excited at the same time. This white envelope held where I was going to be living for the next 18 months, no big deal. I opened it.
    Dear Sister Larsen:
    You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
    You are assigned to labor in the Peru Iquitos Mission. It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 18 months.
    You should report to the Peru Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, October 9, 2013. You will prepare to preach the gospel in the Spanish language.
    Uhhh, what?! Let's just say I was pretty excited! Then my dear friends on my couch of course had to look it up on MY smart phone.
    "It's the 4th largest city in Peru!"
    "It's in the middle of the Amazon Rainforest!"
    "There's a quarter of million people that live there!"
    I was so excited and all their statements just got me more pumped.
    Five months later... We've learned my mission is brand new, just opened July 1st. So the list of stuff to bring was... let's just say... vague. I got all my clothes, which was quite the chore. Like, how do you shop for the Amazon Rainforest? Especially being in a skirt. :) I got practical shoes that weren't that bad looking, thank you very much. Oh, and let's not forget my yellow rainboots.
    So it came time for my farewell Sunday. Not only was I speaking, but I was also singing. With my parents. To be honest, I would have rather just sang and not spoke. Ha :) beggers can't be choosers, I guess. I feel it went pretty well, I cried. So, I'm guessing I touched some spirits. Yeah! :)

    What I did realize though, is that I have a huge family! Combined with my mom and dad's we filled up most of the chapel. Go us :)

    My adorable nephew. I think he looks like me :)

    I have such amazing cousins that drove down just to come hear me speak. Thank you.
    And of course. My amazing parents and siblings

    He really wanted a picture like this.

    I also had all my family send the bag I'll be putting all my laundry in :) Thank you for doing it.
    Bring on the amazon!